Some of the streets of Hoi An are like time capsules from centuries past. As a busy trading centre in the 16th and 17th centuries it was a hub for seafarers from China, Japan, Portugal and Holland. Wandering through the streets it is easy to spot features reflecting this multinational past.
Hoi An has also got to be one of Vietnam's most picturesque towns. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Hoi An was once the major Vietnamese trading centre for silk, porcelain, pepper, cinnamon and medicinal plants. When the river eventually filled with silt the trading moved further north to Danang.
Hoi An ancient town was an active Eastern port city during the Middle Ages. The city still maintains its uniqueness of character and possesses qualities that are rarely seen in the region or elsewhere in the world.
Known as Faifo, a Japanese port in the 15th century, Hoi An is certainly the most charming ancient town of Vietnam, with its colourful and traditional Japanese Bridge, Chinese temple, bustling fishing market, village of traditional ceramic handicraft and junk builders.
The town's distinctive architecture remains intact despite the wars of the 19th and 20th centuries.